Members of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union are planning to distribute leaflets in neighborhoods near the Mobil Oil Corp. refinery in Torrance, claiming there is a potential safety hazard if refinery workers go on strike next week.
Local union officials Tuesday told the Torrance City Council that the Mobil refinery cannot be operated safely if they walk off the job when the union's national contract with the oil industry expires at midnight Sunday.
"We're worried about the refinery's safe operation," said Steve Sullivan, president of Local 1-547 in Lawndale. "Without qualified personnel, these giant refineries can become a ticking time bomb."
Sullivan's remarks drew a sharp retort from Councilman Bill Applegate, who said he resented the union's effort to "instill some type of fear into the community."